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Summary of Proposal LAN0652

TitleAssessment of the synergetic use of TerraSAR-X and RapidEye data for the classification and characterization of semi-arid regions
Investigator Eisfelder, Christina - German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Date Center (DFD), Land Surface (LAX)
Team Member
Dipl-Phys. Keil, Manfred - German Aerospace Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center
Prof. Buchroithner, Manfred - Technical University of Dresden, Institute for Cartography
SummaryGlobal climatic changes will have a dramatic and partly irreversible impact on the anthroposphere and economic areas. For understanding the processes, development of sustainable management strategies and derivation of recommendations for political and economical practices, there is a need for reliable long term monitoring and data series. The aim of this project is to develop robust methods for the derivation of biophysical vegetation parameters and land cover information in semi-arid regions. The study area lies within the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. It consists to a large extent of the subtropical Thicket Biome. The thicket vegetation shows an exceptionally high potential for carbon storage. Therefore several initiatives are interested in restoration activities. To monitor restoration success and achievements, however, a monitoring tool for carbon storage is necessary, that provides area-wide information and indicators. This project will focus on the development of techniques for a widely automated classification of land cover in semi-arid regions. The TerraSAR-X data will be used in addition to RapidEye time series in order to improve the derivation of fractional land cover and biophysical vegetation parameters. It will especially be investigated whether TerraSAR-X data are suited for the distinction between dry shrubs and bare soil. This would provide essential information for biomass estimations in semi-arid regions. It will further be investigated which additional information about semi-arid natural land cover can be extracted from TerraSAR-X data and how the synergetic use of RapidEye and TerraSAR-X data will improve the classification results. The information products shall be used for biomass estimation and land cover classification in semi-arid regions especially with regard to sustainable resources management. For classification purposes, both pixel and object based classification methods will be examined. The scattering behaviour, to be deduced by polarimetric analysis, will be investigated for separation of dry shrubs and bare soil. The RapidEye time series which is to be available within a RapidEye scientific proposal will cover a period from September 2009 to August 2010. In the project it is further planned to investigate ALOS PALSAR data. The data acquisition of two scenes is planned in January 2010. The complementary use of X- and L-band SAR data shall be analyzed.

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